This fairly simple ritual is offered as one example of countless possibilities—I’ve included it to show you an example of one of the more accessible, and easy-to-perform rituals for the beginner Wiccan.
It’s designed for solitary practice, but could certainly be adapted for use with a coven.
Like most rituals, it can be tailored to your intuition, preferences, or circumstances.
(It can also be replicated for other Sabbats, with changes made to seasonal items, candle colours,etc.)
If you don’t have everything listed below, you don’t have to go out and buy it—you can substitute, simplify, and improvise as you wish.
However, you should at least have a candle or two, and some form of recognition of the season to serve as points of focus for your energy—remember, most of the tools are symbolic as the power comes from you, but tools are especially useful for beginners as they give them something tangible to focus and direct their energy onto.
Since the Autumn Equinox is a time for celebrating the abundance of the harvest, themes for focus in ritual include gratitude to the Sun for making the harvest possible and to the Earth for yielding abundance to carry through the winter months.
The balance of equal day and equal night is also good to observe, as is the opportunity to begin a turning inward and looking forward to a more restful time.
The end of Summer is also a time when the abundance of the Earth begins to die back in order to make room for new growth in the next cycle.
We can use this time to identify what in our lives isn’t needed anymore—whether it be too much “stuff,” an old habit we’ve been wanting to break, or anything else that we’d like to release back into the Universe.
As you prepare for the ritual, meditate on these themes and notice what comes to mind. See this opportunity to gain insight into an aspect of your life you may not have been conscious of before.
Recommended items: Seasonal representations such as late summer crops, especially corn and squash, apples, seeds, and/or marigolds.
Candles: 1 black, 1 white, 1 dark green spell candle, and 1 or more others in autumn colours like red, orange, brown, gold, etc.
PentacleCupIncense and/or oils: frankincense, sandalwood, pine, rosemary, chamomile
Stones: jade, carnelian, lapis lazuli
Herbs: sage, Hawthorne, cedarInstructions:
Layout your tools on your altar or ritual space.
You can do this in whatever way is most visually pleasing, or you can follow any traditional pattern that appeals to you.
One way is to place the white candle on the left for the Goddess, the black candle on the right for the God, the pentacle to the North and the cup to the West.
A candle can be placed in the South—this can be the spell candle if you’re using it, or another candle.
Incense or oils can be placed in the East. (If it’s not practical to place burning incense right on the altar, you can place it somewhere nearby in the eastern quarter.)
Any stones or representations of the harvest can be placed around the edges of the altar or wherever they seem to“want” to be.
Take some time trying out different arrangements.
You’ll soon get a sense for what looks and feels right for you.
If you want to cast a circle, make sure you have everything you’re using for the ritual, and then decide how large your circle will need to be.
Using sea salt, sprinkled herbs, candles, or stones, mark out the circle on the ground.
Charge the circle with the intention for creating a sacred space by slowly walking clockwise around it from the inside.
As you walk, “draw” the circle again by pointing with your index finger, visualizing the energetic connection between your body and the circle’s edge—remember, you are creating a place of higher, more powerful energy than will exist on the outside of the circle.
This is an act that takes practice and learning.
It is not strictly necessary, but it is a time-honoured part of a Wiccan tradition that many find to be integral.
Light the black and white candles and invite the God and Goddess (or the balanced forces of male and female) to be present with you in the celebration.
If you wish, call the quarters by turning to stand in each cardinal direction, starting with North and moving clockwise.
Verbally recognize each direction by name and its associated element, and ask for its energy to come into your circle.
You are already incorporating symbols of the Elements with the pentacle (Earth), the incense or oil (Air), the candles (Fire), and the cup (Water) so you could hold each of these items as you greet the Elements, either instead of calling the quarters or as part of it.
Reflect on the abundance you’ve experienced in the past season.
Identify 7 things you are grateful for and state them aloud.
These can be small things or larger ones—whatever you feel truly grateful for at this time.
Then, ask for any help you need with establishing balance, maintaining security, and/or letting go of something.
If you’re using a spell candle, rub a drop or two of essential oil into it, or just hold it in your hands for a few moments.
Visualize yourself feeling secure and grateful for the abundance in your life, in good physical health, and emotionally balanced.
Out loud, state this vision in whatever way seems most natural to you.
You might simply say “I have everything I need. I am in good health.
My life is balanced.”Light the green candle as you say the words.
Then “seal” the work with a final phrase. Many Witches use one of the following: “So let it be,” “So mote it be,” “Blessed Be,” or “It is done.”
Whatever you choose, be sure to consciously release your intentions into the higher realms where they can be transformed and manifest.
Watch the flame for a few moments, feeling the positive energies raised within you and all around you in the sacred space.
When you’re ready, thank the Elements, then the Goddess and God for their presence.
Then, close the circle by walking around it counter-clockwise, releasing its energy into the Universe.
(Note: Don’t leave any candles unattended, but do let the spell candle burn out on its own, if at all possible.)Over the next few weeks, continue the practice of recognizing abundance and expressing gratitude.
You may also notice any seeming imbalances in your life or well-being and decide to do what you can to correct them. If you do so, you will see that the Universe will support you!